Every Nigerian who owns a small business understands that the customer is the major source of sustenance for his/her trade. These days in Nigeria though, no one wants to be sold to, and so most small business owners are now finding it extra hard to attract customers. Some of them now find that they have to consistently to eventually get business, especially those who run a professional service business.
This may seem outdated or cliché considering it is one of the oldest forms of marketing and advertising used by businesses, but while it may be as fast-paced as radio or T.V, it can prove to be very efficient for a small business. Basically, a satisfied customer is one of the most effective marketing and advertising tools a small business can ever have, when a customer is happy and satisfied with a product or service, there’s a natural human tendency that they are likely to share this experience with people in their circle of trust and influence, and will go to great lengths to promote, convince, protect and defend your business outside.
Cross-promote your business
The problem with most small business in Nigeria is that they want to be independent and do it all alone. They do not see any need to corroborate with other businesses and cross-promote as they feel it may make them seem weak or they fear the other business may end of taking all their customers. The truth however is that joining forces with other businesses is a good order to reach a wider customer base and get more business. From offering incentives to customers who use both your services, to providing each other’s fliers to your customers, and sharing ad space in newspapers that you normally could not afford by yourself, there are many ways to use cross-promotion.
Look for and tap into unique communities
Do not sit around and wait for customers to just show up after viewing your ads or hearing testimonies from customer. Actively research and find out clubs/organizations, as well as different causes that you can get involved with and positively introduce your business to in the long run. Exploring these communities will create a natural and low stress opportunities to network. Generally, the more interest you explore, the more publicity for your business, and certainly, the greater the number of people you network with.
Generate conversation and maintain strong online presence
It is 2016, let’s face it no business is really regarded unless it has some kind of presence on the internet. Almost everyone goes online to research a product or a shop before making an actual purchase. The best way to get more customers is to ensure your name pops up ones they go to any of the search engines online. Ensure you have a website or a blog for your business that is informational, but useful as well. For instance, it should have a forum where they can answer questions and provide tips that their customers would find useful. If you cannot afford to build a website or blog yet, use social media to promote your business and generate conversation with your target market. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great choices.
By: Nkem Ndem